Do Rabbits Cry? (All You Need To Know)

When we think about sobbing, we see people with tearful eyes expressing a variety of feelings, from joy to grief. But have you ever questioned whether animals, particularly our loved fluffy friends like rabbits, experience emotional tears similar to our own? Many pet owners and animal lovers may have been curious about the possibility that rabbits may cry. So, the question is do rabbits cry? Do they cry in pain, hunger or before death? What factors affect their emotional state? Let’s find out all of the answers in this article.

Rabbits don’t cry like humans but communicate and express their emotions with body language or vocalization. However, wet eyes could be a sign of dental diseases or infections. So, consider providing a safe environment, identifying the cause, petting or cuddling for their well-being.

This article will briefly discuss can rabbit tears indicate health issues or discomfort, can rabbits cry as a form of communication, how can rabbit owners comfort a crying rabbit, and many more. Let’s find it out.

Does my rabbit cry?

Rabbits do cry as they also have emotions and feelings just like humans.

However, they do not cry in tears or make any crying noises to express emotions like pain or sadness.

Instead, they show their emotions with the help of their body language and make soft noises, such as stop grooming, grunting or whimpering.

A rabbit may exhibit a variety of physical and behavioural indicators to indicate their sentiments when they are anxious, distressed or in pain.

But if you find that your rabbit’s eyes are weeping or wet, it may indicate that they have allergies, dental disease, or an infection.

So, here are some signs of discomfort or distress that your rabbit show through their behaviour and body language:

1) Grooming Behavior: 

Rabbits are very hygienic creatures, as they spend most of their time grooming themselves.

However, if your rabbit suddenly stops grooming itself, it is a sign that something is wrong.

When rabbits are in pain, ill, or emotionally upset, they can skip or reduce their grooming habit.

It’s crucial to pay attention to these behavioural changes as a responsible owner. 

Also, consult a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about rabbits if you detect any odd grooming habits.

2) Vocalizations: 

Rabbits have a variety of vocalisations they can use to communicate, including grunting, whimpering or honking. 

While rabbits do not cry in tears like humans, they show their emotions and feelings with their vocalizations.

If your rabbit makes a soft, high-pitched whimpering sound, almost like a tiny cry, it means they are anxious or scared about something in its environment.

Your rabbit might be feeling uneasy because of a loud noise nearby or because they thought they saw a potential predator, even if it was simply a shadow or a strange object.

Similarly, if your rabbit makes a low grunting noise, it could be a sign of irritation or dislike or irritation.

Additionally, when your rabbit is around other rabbits, it may honk, which can be an indication of enthusiasm or sometimes even a matting call.

You can learn more about your rabbit’s feelings by listening to their vocalisations. 

Investigate immediately and ensure they are secure if you hear any distressed noises or abrupt changes in their vocal behaviour.

3) Loss of Appetite: 

Usually, rabbits are energetic eaters, as they adore munching on hay, veggies, and pellets. 

However, if your rabbit suddenly stops eating or drinking, there might be a problem.

Since rabbits have a delicate digestive system and can soon get ill if they don’t eat enough, loss of appetite is a serious problem. 

It could be caused by several factors, including disease, dental issues, stress, or environmental changes.

If your rabbit is not drinking or eating enough as usual, you must take them to the vet, who has experience in treating rabbits.

4) Body Language: 

You can learn a lot about your rabbit’s feelings by observing their body language.

A rabbit may make various physical movements to indicate that it’s uncomfortable when they are terrified or feels threatened. 

Your rabbit might, for instance, crouch down to appear smaller, flatten its ears against its back, and look for a secure hiding place.

A rabbit may, however, stamp its hind legs on the ground if it is anxious or angry. 

This behaviour acts as a signal to others that your rabbit is unhappy with something.

You can better take care of your rabbit and ensure their safety and happiness if you know about their body language.

5) Hiding or Aggression: 

Rabbits may become quieter and hide in their tunnels or corners when they’re feeling ill or anxious. 

In addition, a rabbit can be aggressive or hide in a quiet and safe place when feeling ill or under stress.

It may indicate that something is disturbing your rabbit if you see them spending a lot of time in hiding and acting less active than usual.

Similarly, when your rabbit is in pain or feels threatened, it may act aggressively by growling, biting or lunging. 

Do rabbits cry when they are in pain?

Rabbits do not produce tears to express their feelings and emotions.

However, they could exhibit behaviour and body language signs that indicate pain and discomfort, which are listed below:

  1. Teeth Grinding: If your rabbit is in pain or experiencing discomfort, it may start grinding its teeth, also known as bruxism.
  2. Reduced Activity: Your rabbit may become less active than usual and may appear lethargic if they are in pain or discomfort.
  3. Hunched Posture: When in discomfort, a rabbit may hunch over to protect the delicate regions of their body.
  4. Loss in appetite: Pain might make rabbits uncomfortable eating and drinking or lead them to lose their appetite.
  5. Unusual Aggression or Withdrawal: When rabbits have discomfort, they may act aggressively, while others might hide and become more isolated.

For example, if you find your rabbit unusually silent and motionless, sitting hunched up, grinding its teeth, not showing interest in its favourite treat, or showing aggressive signs like attacking or biting, then this indicates your rabbit is in pain or discomfort.

While your rabbit is not crying, it is obvious from its behaviour and body language that it may not be feeling well.

Since they are prey animals, rabbits can conceal their weaknesses, including pain, to escape from predators in the wild. 

So rabbit owners must keep a close eye out for any changes in their rabbit’s behaviour and seek expert veterinarian care when necessary.

Do rabbits cry when they are sad or hungry?

Rabbits who are depressed or sad may behave in a variety of ways, including being less active, hiding, or losing interest in their environment, but not producing tears like humans.

Additionally, they may show signs of excitement or restlessness when they are hungry. 

They could bounce around, look for food, or make insignificant noises to grab their owner’s attention. 

Again, though, they do not cry tears to indicate hunger.

Rabbits use their behaviour, vocalisations, and body language to communicate. 

To ensure that your rabbit is well-cared for and content, it’s crucial to pay attention to their needs and comprehend their nonverbal indications. 

They will be happier and healthier if you provide them with a balanced diet, a cosy home, and lots of love and care.

Do rabbits cry when they die?

Rabbits do not cry when they die, but some of them may scream or emit loud shrieks just before death.

A rabbit may make high-pitched, disturbing vocalisations when they are in great distress, in great pain, or when having a life-threatening situation.

It’s crucial to understand that these screams may sound very different from human cries and differ from them in several ways. 

Individual rabbits may make different vocalisations, and some may die without making an audible scream.

Before passing away, a rabbit could scream for a variety of causes, including:

  1. Predatory Threat: Rabbits are prey creatures in the wild, and if they sense danger from a predator or another perceived threat, they may scream in a last-ditch attempt to frighten the predator away or warn other rabbits of the situation.
  2. Pain and Fear: Screaming is a rabbit’s natural way of expressing their suffering when they are in great pain or fear.
  3. Medical Emergency: A rabbit may scream in response to their shock or pain if they are going through a major medical emergency or trauma.

It’s vital to understand that not all rabbits will scream before they die; others may do so quietly and without making any sounds. 

Additionally, the existence of screaming may suggest that the rabbit requires emergency medical assistance rather than that death is near.

It is essential to seek emergency veterinarian care right away if you hear your rabbit scream or observe any signs of discomfort as a responsible rabbit owner. 

What factors affect a rabbit’s emotional state?

Similar to any other living being, a rabbit’s emotional state can be affected by a variety of things. 

It is imperative to understand these factors for proper care and to guarantee a happy and healthy existence for your pet rabbit. 

The following significant factors can have an impact on a rabbit’s emotional health:

Social Interaction: 

Since they are sociable creatures, rabbits survive the company. 

Loneliness and depression can result from a lack of social interaction or living alone for an extended period. 

Regular interactions with you or other rabbits can have a favourable effect on your rabbit’s emotional well-being.


The living conditions of the rabbit have a big impact on their emotional state. 

A clean, large, and enriched enclosure with toys, hiding places, and opportunities for exploring can make a rabbit happier. 

On the other side, a small or unclean space might cause tension and dissatisfaction.

Handling and Trust: 

For your rabbit to develop trust in you, handling must be done properly and gently. 

A rabbit may get uneasy or afraid when handled roughly or fearfully. 

Positive interactions with your rabbit can help them feel comfortable and secure as you gain their trust.

Exercise and Play: 

Rabbits are energetic creatures that require constant physical activity and mental stimulation. 

Boredom and frustration might result from a lack of playtime and exercise. 

Providing toys and supervised playtime help keep your rabbit active mentally and physically.

Diet and Nutrition: 

A rabbit’s emotional and physical health depends on a balanced diet. 

They will receive the nutrients they require if the appropriate proportion of hay, fresh produce, and restricted pellets is given. 

A nutritious diet can fend off illnesses that might lower your rabbit’s mood.

Health and Pain: 

A healthy rabbit has a higher chance of being content and joyful. 

Routine veterinary exams are crucial to find any health issues early. 

Untreated conditions that cause pain or discomfort can have a bad emotional impact on a rabbit.

Changes and Routine: 

Due to rabbits’ habitual nature, they might become anxious when their routine or surroundings undergoes considerable changes. 

They may feel more safe if you provide them with a reliable and regular daily schedule.

Predator Threats: 

As prey animals, rabbits are susceptible to stress and terror if they notice potential dangers nearby. 

These anxieties or stress can be lessened by providing a safe and secure environment.

A rabbit’s emotional condition can be dramatically impacted by observing and treating these factors. 

You can safeguard your pet rabbit’s emotional well-being and develop a close link with your furry friend by providing a loving, secure, and stimulating environment.

Can rabbit tears indicate health issues or discomfort?

The wet or tearful eyes of a rabbit might be a sign of illness or discomfort.

Although rabbits don’t cry when they’re upset like humans do, the large amount of tear production or wetness around their eyes can indicate underlying issues that need to be addressed. 

Wet or tearful eyes in rabbits could occur for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Eye Infections: Increased tear production and discharge can result from eye diseases such as conjunctivitis or other bacterial or viral infections in rabbits.
  • Dental Issues: Tear ducts can be impacted by dental issues in rabbits, such as malocclusion (misaligned teeth), which can result in wet or tearful eyes.
  • Blocked Tear Ducts: Rabbits are prone to tear duct blockages, which can result in tears spilling out onto the fur around the eyes.
  • Allergies or Irritants: Watery eyes may result from a rabbit’s sensitivity to specific allergens or irritants in its environment.
  • Underlying Health Conditions: Rabbits that experience numerous health issues, such as respiratory infections or systemic disorders, may have wet or tearful eyes.
  • Injuries or Trauma: Excessive tearing may be a sign of trauma or eye injuries and may call for quick veterinarian care.

It is crucial to have your rabbit’s eyes checked by a veterinarian who is familiar with rabbits if you observe that their eyes are continuously wet or if there is any strange discharge. 

Any potential health issues can be stopped from getting worse with early detection and appropriate treatment, ensuring your rabbit’s well-being.

Responsible rabbit care includes, in addition to keeping an eye on your rabbit’s eyes, giving them a balanced diet, keeping their living space clean, and keeping an eye out for any changes in their behaviour. 

You may contribute to your rabbit’s happiness and health by being proactive and concerned about their well-being.

Can rabbits cry as a form of communication?

Rabbits do not have tear ducts as humans do, so they cannot cry emotionally to convey their feelings.

Instead, rabbits communicate with others in a variety of ways, both among themselves and with humans. 

To express their feelings or demands, they may employ a variety of sounds, gestures, and behaviours.

Rabbits, for instance, may purr or emit hushed buzzing noises when they are satisfied or contented. 

Their rear legs may be thudded on the ground to warn others if they feel attacked or terrified. 

They may nudge or gently nip their owners when they want attention or when they are hungry.

Building a solid relationship with your furry companion and giving them the care and attention they require, it is essential to understand the body language and vocalizations of a rabbit. 

Rabbits are unable to cry like humans, but they are nevertheless capable of efficiently expressing their needs and sentiments.

How can rabbit owners comfort a crying rabbit?

Although rabbits do not cry emotionally in the same way that people do, they can nonetheless emit disturbing noises or display behaviours that show they are terrified, anxious, or in pain. 

It’s crucial to recognize these indications as a responsible rabbit owner and to offer comfort when your pet is in distress.

To do that, follow these steps in detail:

Petting and Cuddling: 

Try giving your rabbit soft strokes or cuddles if they want to be handled. 

Start by touching their head or back, which are regions where they are most comfortable. 

Pay attention to their body language, and if they appear uncomfortable, you should stop petting them.

Create a Safe Environment: 

Ensure your rabbit has access to a secure location that is free from distractions. 

The living space you give your rabbit should be suitable for its size and requirements. 

They should be able to roam around freely, stretch out, and stand securely on their hind legs in a perfect enclosure.

Similarly, a quick disturbance or loud noise might startle a rabbit. 

Away from busy areas and noisy appliances, put your rabbit’s enclosure in a calm part of your house.

Also, when they have areas to hide, rabbits feel more secure. 

In their cage, you can place cardboard boxes, tunnels, or unique hideouts for rabbits.

Fill the enclosure with cosy, secure bedding. Cedar and pine shavings should not be used as they may hurt rabbits. 

Choose bedding made of hay, straw, or paper instead.

For a clean and cosy living environment, regularly clean your rabbit’s habitat. 

A clean environment helps them feel better overall and is less stressful.

Gentle Presence: 

Pick a peaceful spot in your house where you and your rabbit may be alone. 

Sit or lie down close to your rabbit to get down to their level. However, do not intimidate them by standing over them. 

If your rabbit feels at ease doing so, let them come up to you. Try not to touch them or pick them up right away. 

Because pushing interaction can make them feel more stressed, let them come to you when they’re ready.

When conversing with your rabbit, use a soft voice. Avoid making loud or abrupt noises that can frighten them more. 

If your bunny likes treats, you can give them a tiny, nutritious reward like a piece of fresh fruit or a leafy green. 

Their sense of loneliness may be lessened by your soothing presence.

Offer Treats: 

Some bunnies find pleasure in their preferred foods. Offer a slice of carrot or a recent parsley leaf as a tiny, healthful treat. 

In times of anxiety, this might occupy them and reassure them.

You can help your bunny develop good associations by feeding treats during upsetting circumstances. 

They’ll begin to identify your presence with positive things, which may put them at ease.

However, excessive consumption of treats can result in health problems, such as obesity. 

Use treats only sometimes as rewards or as comfort by keeping servings minimal.

Soft and Soothing Voice: 

Rabbits are sensitive creatures that respond to voice inflexion and human emotions. 

To comfort and reassure a distressed or fearful rabbit, the rabbit owner must talk in a soothing, kind tone.

Your rabbit’s emotional state can be significantly influenced by the tone of your voice.

Approach your rabbit cautiously and quietly if they appear upset or in distress. 

Avoid making loud noises or quick moves that could frighten them more. 

Speak softly and comfortingly while maintaining a nice tone of voice. 

You can reassure your rabbit by saying things like “It’s okay, little one” or “You’re safe with me.”

Identify the Cause: 

Investigate potential causes of your rabbit’s suffering. 

A loud noise, a new pet living in the house, or even a disease could be the cause. 

To solve the problem and improve their mood, the cause should be addressed.

Understanding the underlying cause of your rabbit’s weeping or other distress signals will help you determine the best course of action for making them feel better. 

Here are some causes that could make your rabbit stressed or anxious:

  1. Loud noises: Rabbits are sensitive to being startled by loud noises, such as those made by fireworks, loud music, or home appliances. Try to limit exposure to loud noises and provide a quiet atmosphere for your rabbit if they start to cry or act afraid after hearing one.
  2. Illness or Pain: If a rabbit is in discomfort or facing health problems, it may weep or exhibit other signs of distress. Dental troubles, gastrointestinal issues, or respiratory infections are typical health issues in rabbits. Seek quick veterinary care if your rabbit’s distress persists or if they display other alarming symptoms like lack of appetite, lethargic behaviour, or trouble breathing.
  3. New Environment or Changes: For rabbits, moving to a new house or rearrangement of their living quarters can be stressful. They might experience fear or uncertainty due to the changes. To make the adjustment easier, gradually acclimate them to the new environment and surround them with familiar objects like their favourite bedding or toys.
  4.  Social Stress: Since rabbits are social creatures, they may experience loneliness or stress if housed alone or in an unsociable environment. To avoid disputes, think about adopting a compatible rabbit companion for them. Just be sure to introduce them gradually.
  5. Fear of Predators: Rabbits may still retain instincts that cause them to be alert of dangers, even in a secure indoor setting. If your rabbit feels threatened or terrified, make sure their home is safe and offer them places to hide so they can feel secure.


  1. Due to a lack of tear ducts, rabbits are unable to cry tears of emotion.
  2. Rabbits express their emotions through a variety of vocalizations, including purring, grunting, and honking. 
  3. A rabbit’s body language might reveal important information about its emotional state. 
  4. Every rabbit is different, and depending on their personalities, experiences, and interactions, their expressions might change.
  5. The emotional health of your rabbit depends on your attention to their requirements and the provision of a secure and stimulating environment. 

Reference: NCBI

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